I had been riding my 62cm Surly Crosscheck with 200mm cranks for a couple years for road group riding, commuting, and gravel roads and trails. For any given ride I was having to make a lot of adjustments to the bike, so I was starting to think about a dedicated road bike. I then found out about the XXL 65cm KHS Flite 747 with integrated 200mm cranks and frame designed by Lennard Zinn. The bike’s steel frame is well suited to the 200mm cranks due to the high bottom bracket height (297mm) and steeper seat tube angle (73.5). With a stack height of about 633mm and an effective top tube length of 620mm (the steeper seat tube angle also lengthens the cockpit), it is aptly named the 747. Compared to the alternative of going the custom route, this bike was a bargain.
Despite its larger dimensions than my Crosscheck, its sloped top tube allows a smaller triangle that, along with the larger tubing diameter and integrated rather than square taper cranks, give it a significantly stiffer ride (despite being lighter than the Cross Check). The mostly 105 componentry is well suited to the bike and puts it at a price point that makes good sense for a steel frame.
The only other stock bike I know of that is based around 200mm cranks is the Big Apple, also designed by Lennard Zinn. The Big Apple comes in even larger sizes, though it is significantly more expensive and has more upright geometry than the 747. If you are 6’7″ plus or minus some inches and looking for an entry/mid range road bike, I highly recommend the 747. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to ride it much because of a hip injury that has sidelined me for now, but that’s for another post…
For similar posts, check out bikes for tall people.
I just picked up a 747 on clearance in Minneapolis last weekend. The weather has kept me on my rain bike for the past few days, so I can't wait to see how the crank length works on more than a test ride. Love the site! Would love to hear your thoughts on airline travel.
I suggest ramping up your riding gradually as you tweak the fit; going up from standard cranks to 200s is a big change and you got to make sure your joints are OK with it! I'm interested to know how it goes, so I hope you will post back here when you've had some time to try it out.
I haven't flown in quite some time largely due to some back issues and the difficulty of traveling for tall people, but when I do fly I always arrive early and request an emergency exit seat and/or a bulkhead seat. I also use a pillow, sweater, or something to make myself a lumbar cushion as the seat's curvature doesn't line up well at all with a longer spine.
Thank you kindly for the feedback! I've got some good posts I'm working on so I hope you will subscribe or follow me.
If anyone reading this blog does get serious about getting a 747, I would really suggest doing some research before you buy as to what components you will most likely want to replace. I found this very useful when I purchased mine because I was able to get a discount on the parts I wanted for the bike with the bike purchase. Personally, I would suggest a Thompson seat post, Rotor chain rings, and seriously think about getting a different fork that will accept cantilever brakes. With cantilever brakes, you can run 32mm tires which make a huge difference on a bike that size.